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Volume 22 No. 19
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‘He was an A-1 person right out of the gate’

Vikings owners invited Warren to join the franchise after he helped them acquire it
Sporting shoes for the Vikings’ “Crucial Catch” cancer awareness game last October, Warren (second from right) poses with fellow team execs (from left): Owner and chairman Zygi Wilf; Jim Cima, former senior project manager; Don Becker, executive vice president of real estate development and strategic projects; owner and president Mark Wilf; and GM Rick Spielman.
Photo: courtesy of the minnesota vikings

Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf remembers his first impressions of Kevin Warren. It was when he and his brother Zygi were in the midst of buying the Vikings from Red McCombs in 2005. Warren, working at Greenberg Traurig at the time, was the legal lead on the deal.

“He was a very charismatic person, certainly a very serious person and very professional,” Wilf said. “Those were my impressions as we were working through the deal. He’s someone who is very straightforward, very professional and trustworthy in all his dealings. He was an A-1 person right out of the gate.”

Once the deal closed, the Wilf family asked Warren to go from a celebratory dinner in New York City to Minneapolis the next day and begin the transition.

“He was integral to the consummation of the deal,” Wilf said. “We knew about his experience in football, and he brought an over-arching view of a lot of aspects. He’s been an agent, he’s worked for teams, he’s been an attorney. So he had the background of understanding the sports business.”

Wilf cited Warren’s leadership the past 14 years as vital to the Vikings’ goal of being recognized as a first-class organization.

“He’s a great leader, but also a great team player,” he said. “He understands how all this works. He’s trustworthy, and he has a loyal commitment to always do what’s best for the Minnesota Vikings. He’s incredibly hard-working. He’s led and transformed our organization. He’s always asking questions and making sure that we do what’s best for the organization, the community, our ownership and all the parties involved.

“He’s got a long vision and a broad vision, and always with the Minnesota Vikings’ and our fans’ best interests in mind.”